Matewan (John Sayles | 1987 | USA | 15)
John Sayles | 1987 | USA | 15
Perhaps the greatest film ever made about the labor movement, John Sayles’ drama is a poetic and deeply humane treatment of the coal miners’ strike in 1920. Union man Joe Kenehan arrives in the small town of Matewan just as a major dispute kicks off between the Stone Mountain Coal company and its workers. Can Joe convince the local miners to stand together with the newly-arrived black workers and Italian immigrants (shipped in as cheap labour), or will the different communities tear each other apart? A profound, moving masterpiece of political cinema, ‘Matewan’ remains a hugely relevant exploration of solidarity amongst communities under enormous pressure.